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First trip to South America - Need opinions/advice on where to go

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Jun 11th, 2014, 12:56 PM
  #1
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First trip to South America - Need opinions/advice on where to go

Hi,

I am planning my first trip to South America for my wife and I. We are planning to go in September or October for 2 or 3 weeks. We are around 60 years old and enjoy many different kinds of trips ranging from site seeing cities/towns to more active trips that include hiking and bicycling. I have been doing my research and I am trying to decide between going to Argentina or Peru - both sound very appealing for different reasons.

In your opinion do I have time to do both Argentina and Peru in 3 weeks? If no, would you go to Argentina or Peru and why?

Thanks, Elliot
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Jun 11th, 2014, 11:23 PM
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What an incredibly difficult question! I would find it really hard to choose as both countries have a huge amount to offer and more than enough to keep you busy for 3 weeks.

I suppose you could pick the best bits from each country and combine the two but that would inevitably mean leaving out some pretty amazing places.

I would say that Peru has the distinct edge for hiking and biking, with more options and a more develop tourist infrastructure in a wide variety of different locations. For ancient civilisations, Cusco and the Sacred Valley is unmissable, Chachapoyas is also stunning and far less "developed". You also have easy access to the rainforest. Lake Titicaca is wonderful for a couple of days and. Arequipa, is not only one of the more beautiful cities in South America, it also has Colca Canyon on its doorstep. Lima is underrated but many but really is a fantastic place to spend a few days.

Argentina has some of the most beautiful and stunning scenery of anywhere on the planet. Patagonia especially so with its lakes, glaciers and mountains. Driving a loop around the Salta region in the north west was the high point of both our trips to Argentina along with the magnificent Iguazu falls. BA is one of the worlds great cities and has some fantastic.

If travelling independently I would say that. Peru is markedly cheaper than Argentina although exchanging cash using the "blue dollar" rate can reduce costs on the latter by around 30% making it less expensive than say Europe or North America . Flights are generally expensive in Argentina but luxury bus travel is a viable, more comfortable and much cheaper alternative.

If you are planning on returning to South America then I would stick to one country and explore in more depth. If not then I would cherry pick the best locations in each country and see how they can be fitted in to a three week itinerary (two weeks is not enough IMO).
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Jun 12th, 2014, 06:49 AM
  #3
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Hi Crellston,

Thanks for the detailed response. Decisions, decisions.... one of the things I actually enjoy at the start of the trip planning stage.

Any other opinions out there?

Thanks, Elliot
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Jun 12th, 2014, 08:13 AM
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Can't help with Argentina but I could spend 3 weeks in Peru easily.

The weather in the Andes is less rainy in September, usually.
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Jun 12th, 2014, 10:16 AM
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Hi elliottk

"Any other options?" Loads!!

Here is a link to the blog of our last trip which may provide some ideas

http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...ai/6/tpod.html

We mainly covered Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia this time with just flying visits to Argentina and Chile.

A difficult choice but I would say that Bolivia was the place we most enjoyed.

A bit old now as we visited in 2008 but more info on Argentina at

http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...ai/1/tpod.html

Argentina is from entry 70 on.
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Jun 12th, 2014, 04:57 PM
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My mom and I did Argentina and Peru in 25 days last year and loved it. We spent 5 days in Buenos Aires and the rest of the trip in Peru (Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Puno, Cusco, Ollantaytambo).

I agree with crellston - if you'll be returning to SA, you should stick with one country. I know I'll be back to Argentina to check out the natural scenery.

I have a trip report here (http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...a-and-peru.cfm) with more details. Hope it helps!
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Jun 13th, 2014, 06:19 AM
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My TR for Argentina and Chile is here: http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...-patagonia.cfm

But if you are going in Sept-Oct the answer is easy, as that is too early for Patagonia, but a good time for Peru.
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Jun 14th, 2014, 03:33 PM
  #8
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Thanks for all the help
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